Premier League darts: Nathan Aspinall hopes Michael Smith will play a ‘stinker’ when they meet in Sheffield on Thursday | Darts News

Nathan Aspinall has already started the mind games, saying he hopes Michael Smith will play a “stink” when they meet in a Premier League clash in Sheffield, live on Sky Sports.

Smith kept his hopes of a top-4 finish alive with a 6-3 success against Aspinall at Leeds last week, punishing a disastrous display from the Stockport star to set up a fascinating finish.

The final league night of the season, held at Arena Utilita in Sheffield, will see the two good friends go head-to-head in a direct shoot-out for qualification.

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Smith beat Aspinall in the quarter-finals on Premier League night 15 in Leeds

The winner will join Luke Littler, Luke Humphries and Michael van Gerwen in the end-of-season play-offs, which take place at London’s O2 on Thursday 23 May.

“Every Premier League campaign I’ve played in has come down to the last night and two out of three times I’ve done the job,” said Aspinall, who has two wins a night at Exeter and Rotterdam. “I know what I have to do and I am confident that I will come out with the result. It will be a tough match against Mike because we are close friends.

“I let him get away with it last week but that won’t happen again. I shouldn’t have been in this position, but that’s arrows for you.

“I’ve really enjoyed this Premier League campaign and to be in the position I’m in now knowing it’s in my own hands, I feel proud of how I’ve come back from the first three weeks when I was very poor. Should have finished by now. I look at some of the results where the two games with Luke Littler definitely stand out – the two 6-5 losses – and again last week against Mike Smith.

“Last week we trained together and everyone knows we went away together a few weeks ago, but this week I’m seriously going to Sheffield, focusing on my own game and focusing on the job I’m doing. If I do that, then I think I’ll come out victorious.”

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Littler helped Aspinall start the crowd as he joined in with his signature song Mr Brightside.

Last year was a similar story for Aspinall, who headed into the regular season final of the Premier League knowing they had to reach the final in Aberdeen, and although they hammered Jonny Clayton 6-0 in their opening game, the star at Stockport went down 6-3. defeat against Gerwyn Price to end his hopes.

“These big pressure moments are what I live for. I love the pressure and the adrenaline of a Thursday night and I think being in the position I’ve been in before could put me in a good place ahead of Michael Smith,” he said. recognized World. Matchplay Champion.

“I hope it doesn’t come down to a last-leg decider. I don’t want that to happen, and as much as I like Michael, I hope he absolutely stinks. I hope he plays shockingly and I hope I win. 6-0, but seriously , it will be a tough match.

“I hope to finish this campaign on a high and make my debut at the O2, which is a dream of mine.

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Speaking on Love The Darts, Aspinall admitted he loves the big occasions but struggles at ProTour events

Webster fears for Aspinall in the shootout

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Mark Webster looks at who will take the final play-off spot as Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith battle it out on Premier League night 16 in Sheffield

Former Lakeside champion Mark Webster said Sky Sports: “It’s a bit cruel, but you do fear for Nathan a bit because Michael Smith put himself in a position. He won (against Aspinall) at Leeds so he will feel that is the minimum requirement to stay in the equation and that is done.

“For Nathan, just because of what happened last year, he knows what’s on the line. We know how much of a fighter it is, it’s a knockout game and it’s what these players generally play.

“It’s going to be a fantastic match. It’s the match of the night, isn’t it?”

What the Premier League darts table looks like after night 15 in Leeds
What the Premier League darts table looks like after night 15 in Leeds…

Aspinall: Littler ‘shocked’ me

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Littler came from behind to beat Nathan Aspinall in the semi-finals on night 13 in Liverpool

Reflecting on the Premier League’s most talked-about campaign this year, Aspinall believes the introduction of Luke Littler demonstrated why the PDC included him after his run to the World Championship final, where the teenager lost to Luke Humphries.

“She won the championship without a doubt,” said the 31-year-old, who was runner-up in the Premier League in 2020. “She was fantastic in the way she composed herself even when her back was against her with the Liverpool boos . and Leeds, did very well. It really shocked me if I’m very honest.

“He didn’t feel any pressure – all credit to Luke Littler.

“The revenue he will bring in is obscene. If you replaced him with (Chris) Dobey, the Premier League wouldn’t have had as much hype, so it’s fantastic for the PDC and the rest of the players benefit from Luke being in the Premier League .

“The media attention we’ve had during this Premier League campaign has been ridiculous, bigger sponsors and companies are getting involved, so hats off to Luke and the PDC for the decision.”

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Littler was jeered by the Leeds crowd before his quarter-final match against Peter Wright

Where does the Premier League go next?

Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning against Gerwyn Price in the final during the Cazoo Premier League play-offs.  Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PDC ..RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions.  For editorial use only, not for commercial use without prior consent of the rights holder.
Michael van Gerwen is a seven-time Premier League champion

The Premier League continues with Night 16 at the Utilita Arena, Sheffield on Thursday 16 May as Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall clash in a winner-takes-all quarter-final clash.

Reigning world champion Luke Humphries faces Gerwyn Price, teenager Luke Littler will play Peter Wright for a place in the semi-finals, while Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross are also in action.

Programmes: Night 16 at Utilita Arena, Sheffield, Thursday 16 May

Quarter finals
Luke Littler vs Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall vs Michael Smith
Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen vs Rob Cross

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Premier League Darts Schedule 2024

Night 16 Arena Utility, Sheffield May 16
Play-offs The O2, London May 23

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